section 15 1 n.
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  1. Section 15.1 Alcohol Is a Drug Objectives Describe how alcohol acts as a depressant in the body. Identify three major factors that influence underage drinking.

  2. Quick Quiz See how many of these questions you can answer “yes” to. Do you observe the law that prohibits people under age 21 from purchasing or possessing alcohol? Do you avoid riding with drivers who have been drinking? Do you say no to friends who pressure you to drink? Do you know how to seek help for an alcohol problem? What other things can you do to avoid the risks associated with drinking alcohol? Switch to QuickTake version of the quiz.

  3. Facts About Alcohol • You may not think of alcohol as a drug, but it is. • A drug is a chemical substance that is taken to cause changes in a person’s body or behavior.

  4. Alcohol Is a Depressant • A depressant is a drug that slows brain and body reactions. • In slowing the body’s normal reactions, alcohol may cause • confusion • decreased alertness • poor coordination • blurred vision • drowsiness

  5. Alcohol Production • The alcohol in beverages is produced by the process of fermentation. • During fermentation, microorganisms called yeast feed on sugars in foods. • In the process, carbon dioxide and alcohol are produced.

  6. Alcohol Content • The alcohol content of alcoholic beverages range between 4 percent and 50 percent. • Beverages with a greater percentage of alcohol list their proof on the label.

  7. Teens and Alcohol • Many schools have adopted a zero-tolerance policy. • Under such a policy, students face stiff consequences starting with the first time they are caught with alcohol or other drugs. • The attitudes of peers, family, and the media strongly influence underage drinking.

  8. Influence of Peers • Some teens say they drink to fit in, or just to do what their classmates seem to be doing. • Teens often mistakenly believe that everyone is drinking. • In fact, millions of teens never use alcohol.

  9. Influence of Family • Teens report that parents and other family members are important influences on their decisions about alcohol. • Although your parents may seem tough on you, their rules and advice can help you steer clear of alcohol and other drugs.

  10. Influence of the Media • Television commercials and magazine ads often show drinkers in beautiful outdoor settings, at fun-filled parties, or enjoying sports. • Unlike ads for other drugs, alcohol ads are not required to list negative side effects. • The ads give the false impression that drinking will make you more popular and attractive.

  11. Sports and Alcohol Think back to the last time you watched a sports event on TV. What kinds of products were advertised during the commercials? Chances are, some of the ads were for beer. Besides being aired during sports events, how do the ads try to connect sports and alcohol in people’s minds?

  12. Does the ad have a competitive or a sports-related theme? Does the beer have a “mascot,” as many sports teams do? Is beer shown to improve athletic performance or increase enjoyment of sports? Does the ad make other connections to sports? A “Yes” answer to one or more questions indicates a link connecting an alcohol ad to sports.

  13. Risks of Underage Drinking • Being injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash • Committing or being the victim of sexual assault or other violence • Long-term brain damage • Problems with alcohol later in life • Suspension from school, sports teams, or other school activities

  14. Legal Risks • Laws prohibiting minors from buying or possessing alcohol are enforced with heavy fines and lawful seizure of property. • Selling alcohol to someone under the age of 21 is a criminal offense for the seller. • People found to be driving under the influence of alcohol may have their driver’s licenses taken away or face other stiff penalties.

  15. Vocabulary drug A chemical substance that is taken to cause changes in a person’s body or behavior. depressant A drug that slows brain and body reactions. fermentation The process that creates alcohol, in which microorganisms called yeast feed on sugars. zero-tolerance policy A policy that enforces strict consequences for underage drinking.